I definitely believe that it’s time to go back to basics at this point. There is so much national unrest and social angst that many of us just don’t know what to do or how to feel anymore. To use an Oprah catch phrase, “one thing that I know for sure” is that we are becoming a more unhealthy society as the result this turmoil. We are looking at our friends, co-workers and neighbors and even family with disdain and distrust because we don’t know if they believe what we believe, we don’t know if we’re on the same team or not. Ultimately, we are FEARFUL because we don’t know if what someone else believes or wants is going to hurt us. Well, this is a good time to remember what FDR said during the financial depression of the 1930s, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself!”
We are in the midst of a social and moral depression. Our triumph out of this state is to understand that WE ARE ALL ON THE SAME TEAM. We are Americans. We are strong people who have fought for liberty, freedom, independence and self-governance in many ways, many times over the centuries of this nation’s history. We have a constitution that was written to protect us from historical misdeeds repeating themselves and to guide us away from future misdeeds of the ever present threats of avarice, greed and tyranny. You don’t have to be religious to believe in the forces of Good and Evil. Everyday conflicts are examples of such. For example, to lie or tell the truth is a relatively straight forward concept until one considers the personal repercussions. If someone is inclined to be self-serving they may choose to lie. If someone believes that the truth is worth telling despite any personal repercussion because the truth makes way for the good of more people, they may choose to be honest. “Honesty is the best policy” and “The truth will set you free” are well known idioms because they are consistently proven to be just.
As a child, I was taught that if I worked hard enough I could achieve anything I wanted. I understood that if I sacrificed now, I would be rewarded later. If I studied hard, made smart decisions, stayed out of trouble, eventually I would reap the rewards. I was told not to worry about what anyone else did or had; that if I did the right thing and conducted myself in the right way, I would prosper. Essentially, I was being taught the virtues of Capitalism.
Unfortunately, the kind of capitalism that is choking this country now is a different concept. Today’s capitalism is about making money off of the hard work of others and taking advantage of as many people as possible for financial gain. Prime examples of this are the pharmaceutical and insurance industries. When there is a big discrepancy between the money you make relative to the value of the services you provide, you are creating negative balance and ill will. This is an illness of good business. This is making our country sick. This is creating increased economic disparity. When you take advantage of other people they lose the ability to advance financially. If someone suffers too many economic “attacks” they can’t recover. They end up contracting instead of expanding their financial opportunities. When people are fighting for basic necessities, they become desperate. Desperate people become dangerous.
It is time for us Americans to fight together again for a better future. The people who have excess wealth need to help the people who have not even basic healthcare and living conditions. The people who are free need to help the people who are struggling against oppressors. The people who are kind need to challenge those who are unkind. Considering the technological advances and economic opportunities that have occurred over the past 34 years, we have too many poor people and too few wealthy people. I don’t believe that Socialism is a good term, but I do believe that we need to consider a type of “National Security” or “Citizen Assistance” program, that would help all Americans enjoy a basic level of healthcare, standard of living and quality of life. I don’t envision such a program as a replacement for private insurance. Private insurance would be a premium level of healthcare that would be purchased at will and coverage would be more comprehensive than a government subsidized one.
There isn’t any better investment than in our own people. Hopefully after a period of time, there would be no more need for such a system or it would be utilized by a significantly smaller number of individuals as our people and our country regained their strength. The United States of America has been known as the greatest country; the land of the free and opportunity for all; let’s prove it again.